mitpatterson wrote:it still surprises me that ladyada never got a warning or letter from the FCC for a certain jammer
That would be why the images in her thesis of people going "hey why doesn't my cell work" are staged. It's using the device which would be legally problematic, particularly as it was framed in an academic context.
Protections on data are a little weird, conceptually. Some might even say that they can be inconsistent and harmful to the public interest. The schema for physical stuff is usually that you can have it be (a) a trade secret, in which you don't tell it anyone and hope they can't figure it out before you've made a tidy profit, or (b) you patent it, publishing ostensibly unique aspects for the public information in exchange for a temporary legal monopoly on exploiting the information.
It doesn't really work out that way, but then again the system was set up when the population was much less and when major research labs were rare to nonexistent. The system works great if we're talking about individuals or small handfuls of people working on budgets attainable by small handfuls of people. It breaks down quickly if it's expected to cover everything from individuals to entities like transnational corporations with resources exceeding that of most small nations (and a few large ones).